It was a given that the unveiling of the final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens would generate huge online buzz following its premiere during Monday Night Football. What might not have been fully anticipated, though, is the overwhelming demand for online ticket sales for the film’s opening weekend, which caused traffic surges on film ticketing sites, periodic outages, and fan frustration — oh, and record-breaking sales, too.
Movie site Fandango reports that Star Wars has surpassed its former top seller The Hunger Games eight times over. While Fandango’s system never outright crashed, buyers experienced intermittent ‘performance issues’. Similarly, MovieTickets.com customers were faced with ‘unknown server error’ messages. These hiccups, however, didn’t stop the much anticipated film from scoring a record $6.5 million in sales on IMAX screens alone for the first weekend, with theater chains adding additional showings to meet customer demand.
AMC Theaters reports that the film set a single-day advance ticket sales record. In less than 12 hours, AMC sold out more than 1,000 shows nationwide.
Star Wars veterans Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill return for The Force Awakens. They’re joined by newcomers to the franchise Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year), Daisy Ridley and John Boyega (The Circle). The film opens on December 18th.